April 30, 2018

Song of Bill Doolan's Last Stand, Gull Force, Ambon, WWII, 1942

Following Submarine Matters’ publication of ANZAC Day Songs an Anonymous commenter has recounted the sacrifice of Australian soldier William (Bill) Doolan.

The Ambonese people (living on Ambon island in Indonesia) have a song about Doolan set to the tune “The Rose In Her Hair” (see Youtube below). Doolan single handedly held up a Japanese advance in Ambon in early 1942, during World War Two. Driver/Private William Doolan served in the 2/21st Australian Battalion, which made up much of "Gull Force".

Gull Force soldiers brought the tune “The Rose In Her Hair” to the Ambonese, who put new lyrics to it in remembrance of Doolan’s last stand. The Youtube version above is sung by Simani 
("Sim and I") a Newfoundland and Labrador (Canadian) traditional music group.

The Morwell Advertiser (newspaper of Victoria, Australia) published a front page article dated December 13, 1945 with the words:

"Song of Doolan" The following extract from "Ambon News" of 7th November [1945], tells the epic story of a Morwell boy...Driver Tom Doolan, the son of Mr. Tom Doolan and the late Mrs. Doolan, was born, reared and educated in Morwell, from where he enlisted.

"The original song 'Rose In Her Hair', was brought first to Ambon by the Australian [Gull Force] in 1942, and it was a song that the Ambonese have heard [the Australians] singing while working on the roads as prisoners-of-war. [the Ambonese started singing the tune themselves, in Ambonese Malay in which the name “Doolan” could be distinguished.

"Not far from the [Tantui, on Ambon] beside a track leading to the hills stands a grave, and over it a wooden cross marked:

VX 35406 Dvr. Doolan, W. T., 2/21 Bn. K.I.A. 1/2/42.

[When the Japanese Army were invading Ambon in January/February 1942 Doolan] was alone when he made his last stand. High in a Gandaria tree near the Batoegantoeng River, he built a machine gun nest and waited in it with his gun aimed on the bend of the road.

"Three trucks full of Japanese soldiers came roaring up the narrow track, and as they passed, Doolan poured the devastating fire at point blank range. The Japanese casualties were staggering. Doolan stayed where he was, waiting. Then some hours later, Japanese snipers who were sent out to pick him off, found his hiding place, and he was shot through the back of the head, crashing through the branches on to the ground, dead.

Then the Japanese moved on, and the Ambonese came back rescued his body and laid it to rest. To this day-they tend his grave...Here it is in Australian translation:

"On the first day of February. An Australian soldier climbed into his strong post; Thousands of soldiers of Japan lay killed and wounded. Shot by the great guns, machine guns and rifles Of the Australians on Ambon.

One Australian named Doolan
Had killed many men of Japan
He did not retreat or withdraw
Until at last he was killed alone
An Australian named Doolan
Died by the side of the road
His grave is under a Gandaria tree
The tale is told everywhere on Ambon
An Australian named Doolan
Died by the bullets from the men of Japan
Calling his mother, father, wife and children
But they could not hear him.

Here is further reading about the Ambonese, Gull Force and Bill Doolan, scroll a third way down this pdf file to the subheading about Doolan “He inspired a war chart [chant]”

An Anonymous and Pete

April 29, 2018

F-35 inferior to 5th & even 4++ Generation Air Superiority Fighters

See a superb article by Abraham Ait at The Diplomat paysite about the inferiority of the F-35, titled "Why the F-35 Isn’t Good Enough for Japan" which argues in part:

"..While the F-35 retains some radar evading capabilities, its radar cross section is over ten times greater than that of the F-22 making it far less survivable — leading some analysts to term it a “pseudo stealthy” fighter. The F-35 has less than half the range of the larger F-22 and lacks the Raptor’s advanced long ranged air-to-air missiles, which for [Japan] an archipelago nation separated from its potential adversaries by vast seas are major shortcomings. 

As a single engine light platform with a small arsenal of just four air-to-air missiles, restricted to a below average speed of Mach 1.6 and a very low altitude relative to the Raptor, the F-15J, and elite twin engine Chinese fighters, the F-35 hardly presents an adequate solution to counter China’s growing fleet of J-11 fighters — let alone more advanced platforms more recently deployed by Beijing such as the Su-35 or J-20. Indeed, it [the F-35] was never designed for such an air superiority role.

...With Tokyo unable to acquire the F-22 and with none of its allies producing a fighter capable of replacing its aging F-15 fleet, Japan sought to develop a fighter indigenously to fulfill an advanced air superiority role and match China’s latest heavy fighters such as the J-11D and J-20. The program, at prototype stages known as the Mitsubishi Shinshin X2, saw the first flight of its technology demonstrator in April 2016..."

"Abraham Ait is a military analyst and founder of Military Watch Magazine."

See the WHOLE EXCELLENT THE DIPLOMAT ARTICLE a Paysite well worth subscribing to.

April 27, 2018

Tipping Britain's Type 26 to Win Future Frigate Decision - Some Diplomatic Groundwork

Britain is pushing its Pacific Power line, in terms of a sudden increase in warships in the Pacific and via future High Commissions in very small places. Britain is looking for increased non-European trade opportunities before and after post-Brexit.

Essential morning reading is Matangi Tonga Online, of course. To that end its April 23-24, 2018 edition reported: "The announcement by Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on 19 April that the UK will be opening up diplomatic mission in...Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu."


One could theorise that Britain’s sudden interest in establishing High Commissions in tiny Pacific islands represents a sudden burst of humanitarianism, consular care or even to counter a rising China presence. As a devotee of the realist school, I'd say countering China is a piece of the puzzle, but there is more.

I sense a more important commercial motive, which is Britain wanting to paint itself as a returned Pacific power in order to increase its chances of selling its Type 26 Future Frigates to Australia. The sale is worth AU$35 Billion, so the incremental step of opening 3 very small, low cost, High Commissions is a good diplomatic-commercial move. Britain can claim this is one part of its return to Pacific strategy and the Australian Government can use this "we are not alone against China" line on the Australian public

I hear you scoff!

International political arguments appeal to the politicians of Australia's National Secuty Committee of Cabinet, who will choose the winner, as much as complex weapons system capability comparisons.

Remember France repeatedly reminded Australia of France’s Pacific power status on the way to selling the 12 French DCNS (now Naval Group) Submarine Project in 2016, worth AU$50 Billion. See Submarine Matter’s article 2016 Defence White Paper - Comparing Australia's relations with the 3 Submarine Contender countries of March 3, 2016 - a White Paper released just before Australia’s April 26, 2016 Buy French Submarine decision.

Avid readers of the Australia’s 2016 Defence White Paper will note the mentions of France's Pacific presence in Section 5.83 (in red and bolded here).

This British diplomatic groundwork is nicely timed, given Australia may well make the Future Frigate decision (Britain vs Italy vs Spain) before July 1, 2018. (see "Government to announce Prime [Future Frigate] Contractor" in 2nd Quarter 2018 in the Australian Defence Department’s own  “Achieved/Forecast” column.

So news of the UK upgrading its Pacific presence (even in small ways) can be seen as a ship sale booster. 

See a good Andrew Tillett, Australian Financial Review article, of  March 26, 2018 on Future Frigate at Frigate program decision crucial for local industryand government policy.


April 26, 2018

Russian Submarine Projects - Seeing Yasen as Too Delayed Response to Seawolf

Above is Russia's state defense orders in 2014 and 2015. (Graphics from Russian Defense Ministry, then published by TASS.) While submarines are analysed below there is a wealth of data on non-submarine strategic systems.


Adding to the small amount of submarine data in the graphic. Note that orders for:

Improved Kilo Project "636" [likely 636.3 restricted to Russian Navy] SSKs occur at the rate of
    2 each year [see later build data 2016 & 2017 for 636.3s]

-  1 or 2 Borei/Borey Project 955 SSBNs occur each year [see later year data out to 2026 for Boreis
    955s, 955As and 955Bs (the As and Bs are due to be fitted with 20 SLBMs instead of the existing
    16 in the first 3 x 955s (right click mouse to translate this).

Yasen Project 885 SSGNs in contrast are ordered intermittently (in 2014 but not in 2015). See later
     year Yasen data out to 2023. Note, despite Russian denials, Russia is likely to need to keep on
    building Yasens past 2023 to replace retiring Oscar SSGNs and Akula SSNs until
    "cheaper, smaller" Huskies or "Khaskis" (in Russian) SSNs and SSGNs become commissioned
    (likely not in early 2020s) but in the 2030s .


Russia will have financial trouble sustaining continuous build of Boreis, Yasens and Kilos while meeting the high costs of developing Huskies.

With the one exception of Seawolf to Virginia rarely do replacement submarines become "cheaper and smaller" because of industrial revenue interests and naval profession/capability interests.

Maybe it is useful to see the expensive, high specs, Yasen/Severodvinsk Project as a delayed, Russian response to the first launched in 1995 expensive, high specs, Seawolf (?). Also Russia, with its defense financial downturn of the 1990s and early 2000s, was paradoxically unable to cancel the already begun expensive ("too big to fail") Yasen Project.

Some major defense Projects have their own momentum that cost more in money and careers to shelve and start again
easier to delay and pass off blame


April 25, 2018

Madsen Found Guilty of Murdering Kim Wall. He receives Life Sentence

Later on April 25, 2018 Australia’s ABC News reports:

“Danish inventor Peter Madsen has been sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of murdering Swedish journalist Kim Wall aboard his home-built submarine in August 2017.
Key points:

·       Madsen was charged with murder, dismemberment and indecent handling of a corpse
·       [Madsen] claimed Wall died from breathing exhaust gases that leaked into the submarine
·       Madsen will appeal the sentence

Judge Anette Burkoe at the Copenhagen City Court said she and the two jurors agreed Wall's death was a murder, saying Madsen didn't given "a trustworthy" explanation...”


Original Report: The details below are drawn from an article by JAN M. OLSEN for ASSOCIATED PRESS (COPENHAGEN, Denmark, April 23, 2018) via US ABC News.


Danish inventor Peter Madsen is on trial for the torture and murder of Swedish journalist Kim Wall during a private UC3 Nautilus mini submarine trip on August 10, 2017. The submarine sank but was refloated. The prosecutor at the court case said April 23, 2018 there is a risk that Madsen can commit the same kind of crime again.

The prosecutor said Kim Wall may have been tied with her own stockings before Madsen impaled Wall, and that Madsen acted with a sexual motive. Madsen is then accused of cutting Wall up, placing the body parts in plastic bags and tossing them overboard.

The prosecutor demanded Madsen be given “life” in prison, which is only 16 years under Danish law, although the sentence could be extended if necessary. Alternatively Madsen could be locked up in a secure mental facility for as long as he's considered a danger to others.

The prosecutor said Madsen is not insane but "emotionally impaired with severe lack of empathy, anger and guilt." A court-ordered psychiatric report described Madsen as an intelligent man "with psychopathic tendencies."

Defense lawyer

The defense lawyer called it "a horror story ... but the story is not based on facts. It is based on undocumented claims...It is not Madsen’s duty to prove that he is innocent. It is the task of the prosecutor to prove that Madsen is guilty.

The defense lawyer said there was no doubt Madsen dismembered Wall's body, but told the court there was inadequate evidence proving Madsen killed Wall.

Madsen said Wall died because of a pressure problem in the home-made submarine. But the prosecutor said that "forensic experts have found nothing" about a gas or pressure problem.

Madsen admitted to cutting Wall up before he "buried her at sea." Madsen claimed he had to cut Wall up because he could not lift Wall’s body up the submarine tower in one piece to throw it overboard."

Also see an earlier January 17, 2018 article about Danish prosecutors wanting to confiscate and destroy Madsen’s refloated submarine, UC3 Nautilus.

The trial verdict is expected to be publicised April 25, 2018 (Danish time) which is early morning April 26 Australian time 

Kim Wall (inset) and the 40 tonne mini-sub UC3 Nautilus where she was allegedly murdered by Madsen.

ANZAC Day Songs

The Remembrance poppy symbolises ANZAC Day.

ANZAC Day, 25th April, is the most recognised secular day of remembrance in Australia and probably New Zealand (home of the “Kiwis”). Hearing snippets of war songs at parades or on television on Anzac Day has made me want to dig deeper as a mark of respect and remembrance. The particular power of war songs, or anti-war songs, are in their strength and diversity of emotion: sorrow, action, anger, remembrance, fear, mateship, loneliness, love, generosity, authority and protest.

The songs start with the most recent wars then end with World War I. On casualties alone that latter war has the most meaning and I’ll show it has meaning in my family’s history.

Australia's endless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have generated few songs but here is Please Remember Me (originally Dante's Prayer by Loreena McKennitt).

I Was Only 19 is without doubt the most famous and realistic Australian song of the Vietnam War. It was written and sung by John Schumann when he led the far left and undervalued Australian group Redgum.

From World War II the poem High Flight was eventually published. Here’s the John Denver rendition.

Band of Brothers was a superb series with a memorable theme tune but the lyrics are too American, for my taste anyway.

Its a Long Way to Tipperary was cheekily sung by the captain and crew song of Das Boot the greatest submarine movie. Adolf would have forbidden such a song.

Politicians and the commercial media perpetuate the assumption that true Anzacs were and are all front line infantry. Other occupations were more dangerous than infantry. Pilots and aircrew often suffered the highest casualties and shortest life expectancy of any service. Sailors, in particular submariners, were often in great danger both from the enemy and also from accidents while encased in their high risk vessels. Here is the Navy Hymn for Submariners.

Religion is an undoubted comfort to many soldiers while fighting and years later to those who returned alive. The hymn Abide With Me is sung by Hayley Westernra from Christchurch, New Zealand.

Anzac Day remembers Aussies and Kiwis who served in all the wars to which their countries were committed, yet it still centres on World War I, Australia's worst, most wasteful, war. It is often forgotten that in that war more Australians died (53,000) on the battlefields of France and Belgium than at Gallipoli (8,709 deaths).

And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda is by Scottish-Australian singer and songwriter Eric Bogle who, like Redgum, has produced lasting songs of meaning. The song is about a digger who is wounded at Gallipoli, treated in hospital, then returns to Australia.

What happened to "those brave wounded heroes of Suvla” in the song? Following up the reality led me to my, now late, grandfather. In 1915 on the Mediterranean island of Lemnos, this photo is of my Grandfather, Staff Sergeant Leo Coates, in his unit, the No. 1 Australian Stationary Hospital. He helped to develop one of the first field X-ray machines and then operated it (as pictured) to save lives. On November 4, 1915 he moved with the hospital to Gallipoli. Sergeant Coates later rose to Colonel serving in World War II India and Britain. His son (my Dad) would fight in Vietnam (1970-71).

I think Eric Bogle’s The Green Fields of France or No Man’s Land is the most memorable anti-war song ever written. As a haunting poem, march, song of love and injustice it is a fitting anthem to remember the men and women, living and dead, who are our Anzacs.


April 23, 2018

Aussie Warships in South China Sea warned by Chinese Navy, Naughty Visiting Vietnam

Based on Australia's government owned ABC News report of April 20 2018 

"Three Australian warships were challenged by the Chinese military as they travelled through the disputed South China Sea earlier this month, the ABC can reveal."
The confrontations with China's People's Liberation Army Navy are believed to have occurred as China was conducting its largest ever naval exercises in the hotly contested waters.
Defence sources have confirmed Australian frigates HMAS Anzac and HMAS Toowoomba as well as replenishment ship HMAS Success were challenged by the PLA Navy after those Australian vessels left Subic Bay, Philippines on the way to a 3 day goodwill visit to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull "would not confirm the incident but reiterated Australia's right to conduct freedom of navigation exercises in the area."
Australian Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne also "reiterated Australia's rights within international law and downplayed the seriousness of the incident."
"I think 'confrontation' is somewhat of a tabloid-style description of what goes on in the South China Sea very regularly," Pyne said.
In a statement, China's Defence Ministry said: "“The reports from Australia are different from the facts". "On April 15 China's naval vessels encountered Australian naval ships in the South China Sea. China's ships used professional language to communicate with the Australian side. China's operation is lawful and conforms to conventions. It is professional and safe...."
Ships visiting Subic Bay (near Manila) Philippines can't avoid crossing China's self placed Nine dash line to sail to Ho Chi Minh City in southern Vietnam. (Map courtesy Wiki).
Not only might China be angry that Australia was crossing China's new nine dash delineated "lake" but was also angry Australia was visiting China's occasional enemy neighbour, Vietnam.

April 21, 2018

Trump treasures KGB Honey Trap advice: Russia has best "hookers" in world.

Trump always values advice - not from the FBI, but that from ex-KGB agent Vladimir Putin,


"In a February 2017 conversation...Trump told Comey how Putin told [Trump], “we have some of the most beautiful hookers in the world” even as [Trump] adamantly, and repeatedly, distanced himself from a salacious allegation concerning him and prostitutes in Moscow, according to one [FBI] memo."

Trump reputedly boasted to Putin: "Hookers rule Putey! But even after Stormy da prenup has Number 3 hooked." 

...although the latter cannot be confirmed.


All Americans are eternally grateful for this reality grabbed  thoroughly twit ... mafioso and his suspected KGB now FSB Honey Trap history. It certainly made Putin's FSB monitor and exploit a bankrupted Trump seek Russian real estate.

Trump's legendary sexuality is his own affair.

April 19, 2018

Naval Bases in Indo-Pacific - Vanuatu, Kanaky, Melanesian Spearhead Group

In relation to headlines last week that Vanuatu has been discussing with China the issue of building (a, or some) Chinese bases on Vanuatu. Vanuatu and China on Tuesday 17 April 2018 denied the base intention rumours. On 19 April 2018 Vanuatu's Prime Minister assured Australia's Prime Minister that there were no basing intentions. The interesting map below has been made public.

See much larger image of map here. Map courtesy Australian Department of Defence and International Maritime Bureau a specialised division of the International Chamber Of Commerce.

The above map's key, on upper right corner, indicates:
Blue dots are US overseas bases (some US facilities in Singapore). These established, very large
    bases, underline how powerful the US presence has been since the 1940s.
-  Magenta dots are Chinese bases in China
-  Purple dots are Australian bases in Australia
-  Also note Magenta Circles are Chinese influenced dual-use ports (bases to be?) in Indian Ocean
   =  Gwadar (Pakistan)
   =  Hambantota (Sri Lanka)
   =  Chittagong (Bangladesh), and
   =  Sittwe (Myanmar)
   =  No mention of Maldives.
   =  there's a missing deep water port that China is building in Sihanoukville, Cambodia.
   =  China will probably be building a future strategically important Kra (or Thai) Canal to bypass
        the already congested and Western dominated Straits of Malacca.

There is a missing deep water port that China is building in Sihanoukville, Cambodia. Putting this in perspective, China will be building the Kra canal at some point in time to bypass the Straits of Malacca.

India's main bases (on Western Naval Command, Mumbai and Eastern Naval Command,  Visakhapatnam) are not identified.


Question - Might tiny Vanuatu ($114 million Chinese loan money wharf) and (for that matter East Timor, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Fiji) be added not as a bases, but as further Magenta Circled Chinese influenced dual-use ports in years to come?

An interesting response to such a question comes from

On April 14, 2018 an Anonymous provided some interesting insights:

[Re Pete saying] "'Such pressure may fall on East Timor'

[Anonymous says] 
No. The new Timor Sea treaty binds Dili to Australia and virtually ensures ET will become a military ally and protectorate. The concessions given would've been nonsensical otherwise.

re Vanuatu. China got a foothold in Vila by funding the Melanesian Spearhead [1]. West Papua and Kanaky [2] are aspiring nations. This gives China enormous potential leverage. An independent Kanaky or West Papua would need to repay China for support during the struggle. 

Neither Indonesia nor Australia would tolerate a Chinese base in E.Timor, nor Chinese interference in West Papua via Vanuatu. The interests of Canberra and Jakarta may be converging in a manner that may yet see Jakarta's long standing neutrality up for review. 

The trend will be strengthened if Trump indeed proves serious about a second iteration of the TPP." 

[1] The Melanesia Spearhead Group (MSG) is an intergovernmental organization composed of four Melanesian states FijiPapua New Guinea (PNG)Solomon Islands and Vanuatu and Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front of New Caledonia.

[2] "Kanaky" meaning a future independent Kanak nation replacing the French territory of New CaledoniaAn independence referendum will be held in New Caledonia on
 4 November 2018 at which voters will be given the choice of remaining joined to France or becoming an independent country. Do most oppose independent Kanaky?

And finally Chinese aid to Pacific islands and to East Timor above (cumulative figures 2006-2016). Australia is the largest donor to the region including Vanuatu, but China is rising as the "loaner" and donor that doesn't instruct how money should be used. (Map courtesy Lowy Institute via DEVPOLICYBLOG, April 11, 2018)

Pete Comment - There are so many issues with China's rise in the broader region that it is easy to forget the concerns of Pacific islands. 


April 18, 2018

Comparing Kilo 877s with TKMS Type 212A submarines

Further to Submarine Matters’ interest in Russian submarines Anonymous on April 13, 2018 provided the following data which Pete has put in the Table below.

Comparison between
older model
TKMS Type 212A
also Todaro
When first launched
Sept 1980
March 2002
When last launched
Oct 1999
July 2015
(Todaro batch)
Propulsion motors
section length
4 motors = 2 main + 2 small “economical” “silent” motors, [1] 7m
1 PMSM 1.7m
Diesel engines
2, around 10m
1, around 10m
Fuel cell 2.8m
Non-propulsion hull length
submarine length

70-73.8m (see
56.0m to
57.2m (2nd batch)
(see sidebar)

[1] Length of Kilo 877’s economic-silent motor + main motor (4.4MW) is around 7m. When compared to the 212A’s PMSM (of 2MW) at 1.7m long, miniaturization and simplification of propulsion motor system is probably necessary in Russian conventional submarines. 

Particularly in the narrows and rocky holes of the Baltic Sea, where the Kilo 877 encounters the 212A, the 212A having a much shorter length overall and having an X-plane tail may tend to make it more manoeuvrable hence able to hide in smaller holes than the Kilo 877. Although the effectiveness of the Kilo's internal thrusters/impeller tunnels may give Kilos some advantages (unassessible at this open source level). 

Diagram of Type 212A that highlights location and rough size of propulsion elements (Diagram courtesy Naval Technology).

If 212A’s silent running Fuel Cell, (see above) at 2.8m long, is added into the comparison then the Kilo has less of an overly long propulsion problem.
Kilo Project 877 interior diagram above. (See much larger more readable diagram at source https://www.soumarsov.eu/Sous-marins/Post45/877/877_schemdet_agrandi.htm )

On the larger diagram the following parts can be identified:
1. Sonar base MGK-400 RUBIKON 
2. 533mm torpedo launch tubes 
3. First section (Front / torpedoes) 
4. Anchor windlass 
5. Front hatch  
6. Reserve torpedo with fast reloading device 
7. Front dive bars 
8. Crew quarters
9. Front battery 
10. MG-53 AVTOGRAF sonar interceptor
11. Place where officers/crew on watch stand in the fin/sail
12. Attack periscope PK-8.5 
13. Periscope PZNG-8M 
14. Schnorchel mast 
15. Diver's hatch
16. Radar mast MRK-50 KASKAD
17. ZAVESA direction finder mast 
18. MRP-25 radar interceptor mast 
19. STRELA-3 surface-to-air missile lookout container 
20. Second section
21. Command Post to Control Navigation Operations (PCNO) 
22. Third section (living area) 
23. Rear battery 
24. Fourth section (diesel generators) 
25. Diesel generator 
26. HP air cylinders 
27. Fifth installment (electric motors)
28. Main Electric Motor
29. Emergency signalling buoy 
30. Sixth Trim (Rear) 
31. Rear Panel 
32. Silent Electric Motor
33. Rear dive bar and rudder press 
34. Rudder support

This Youtube below (presented by Gisoo Misha Ahmady in traditional dress) is inside one of Iran's three largest submarines of the Russian (Saint Petersburg) built Iranian TAREG variant (Kilo class Project 877s). We can understand the difficulty of maintaining and monitoring the 877's Lead-acid batteries (LABs). In the loss of Argentine submarine ARA San Juan one of the LAB section was flooded with seawater resulting hydrogen gas leakage, on ignition fire, then catastrophic explosion. 

On the mainly English language Youtube above see: 

2 minute 31 seconds in to 2mins 48 secs : A crewman, in hot, humid, conditions manually measures
     the specific density of sulfuric acid in LABs. This density reduces with potentially dangerous 
     hydrogen discharge?

More specifically at:

  2:31 the crewman is checking LABs on the keel, because heights of right and left hand sides of
        LABs are the same.
  2:40 : Other LABs are on left hand side. They are also checked. 
Female announcer says there are 
         "roughly 80 members of the crew!" Is it the same crew size in Indian Kilos?

Anonymous and Pete

April 17, 2018

Attacks on Syria Provided Unsurpassed Missile Testing Opportunities

Rarely do air and sea forces get the opportunity to test multi-million dollar missile systems in actual "fire in anger" conditions. US, UK and French missile strikes on Syrian targets on April 14, 2018 intentionally deployed the widest range (5 or 6 types) of missiles possible from as many air and sea platforms possible. Only in real war conditions can a missile's efficiency, reliability and accuracy be fully tested. 

The US/UK Tomahawk missile has been thoroughly tested in battle by submarine and surface ship launch, but the attack on Syria probably provided the first real war opportunity to fire JASSM-ERStorm Shadow, French version SCALP and MdCN version missiles.    

Salim Kahraman for Turkey's Ahval News has provided excellent graphics and reporting on the April 14, 2018 US, UK and French missile strikes on Syrian targets

"World powers show off advanced weaponry in Syrian war"  Apr 17 2018, "...The United States, France and Britain last week launched 105 missiles on three on Syrian chemical weapons facilities without any aircraft entering Syrian air space or coming within range of its anti-air systems...The latest coalition strikes directly targeted Syrian government chemical weapon sites - a scientific research centre in the capital Damascus, a chemical weapons facility west of the city of Homs and a chemical weapons bunker near the same western city. Nine buildings were destroyed .

Barzah research centre was targeted by only U.S. forces with 57 Tomahawk missiles and 19 JASSM-ER missiles launched from a pair of Qatar-based B-1 bombers.
Graphics courtesy MBDA, MOD via Agency France Press (AFP).
The Him Shinshar chemical weapons facility was hit by nine U.S. Tomahawks missiles, eight British Storm Shadow missiles, three MdCN missiles launched from French frigate Languedoc and two French SCALP missiles.
...The Him Shinshar chemical weapons bunker was struck by only French forces, with seven SCALP missiles.  
The strikes displayed U.S. naval superiority with Tomahawk missiles fired from the destroyers USS Monterey and the USS Laboon in the Red Sea, USS Higgins in the Gulf and submarine USS John Warner [see USNI article below] in the eastern Mediterranean. Meanwhile, the destroyer USS Donald Cook in the Mediterranean surprisingly did not fire any missiles.
UK, French and US air and sea missile firing platforms. Click here for much larger map. 
U.S. officials said no missiles were intercepted.
...France participated in the strikes with five warships and at least 13 aircraft flying from air bases around France. Britain’s forces consisted of four aircraft flying from Cyprus. British submarines could not reach the area in time for the attacks.
The use of so many missiles to destroy just nine buildings was possibly more a show of strength than a necessary use of force.
The French strikes conducted were carried out with indigenous weaponry, aircraft and warships. It was the inaugural combat use of the McDN land attack missile, which is the naval variant of the air-launched SCALP land-attack cruise missile] and demonstrates that France has a deep strike capability alongside the United States, Russia and Britain." See the WHOLE AHVAL NEWS ARTICLE

On USS John Warner Virginia class (SSN-785)  for USNI reportsApril 16, 2018:

"THE PENTAGON — Saturday’s pre-dawn joint air strike against three Syrian chemical weapons facilities was notable not just for its success, but for also being the first time a Virginia-class submarine fired missiles in combat and the first time Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles-Extended Range (JASSM-ER) were used tactically, USNI News has learned.

USS John Warner provides (1 or 2?) photonic masts' eye view of the launch of one of its Tomahawk cruise missiles at Syria.

When attack boat USS John Warner (SSN-785) launched six Tomahawk land-attack missiles from the Eastern Mediterranean, it was the first time a Virginia-class submarine fired shots “in anger,” or at an enemy target rather than for testing or training purposes, according to a Navy spokesperson.

John Warner not only hit its assigned target but did so during its first deployment and while successfully evading a Russian sub-hunter, which was reportedly tracking a British Astute-class submarine also operating in the region, according to Bryan Clark, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments." [see more reporting - scrolling a third way down - on other missiles fired].